Functional markers for xa5-mediated resistance in rice (Oryza sativa, L.)
The recent cloning of several agronomically important genes has facilitated the development of functional markers. These markers reside within the target genes themselves and can be used with great reliability and efficiency to identify favorable alleles in a breeding program. Bacterial blight (BB) is a severe rice disease throughout the world that is controlled primarily through use of resistant cultivars. xa5 is a race-specific, recessive gene mediating resistance to BB. It is widely used in rice breeding programs throughout the tropics. Due to its recessive nature, phenotypic selection for xa5-mediated resistance is both slow and costly. Previously, marker assisted selection (MAS) for this resistance gene was not efficient because it involved markers that were only indirectly linked to xa5 and ran the risk of being separated from the trait by recombination. Recently, the cloning of the gene underlying this trait made it possible to develop functional markers. Here we present a set of CAPS markers for easy, quick and direct identification of cultivars or progeny carrying xa5-mediated resistance and provide evidence that these markers are 100% predictive of the presence of the xa5 allele. These markers are expected to enhance the reliability and cost-effectiveness of MAS for xa5-mediated resistance.
KeywordsBacterial blight Disease resistance Functional marker Plant improvement Marker assisted selection
We thank Lois Swales for help with graphics and manuscript formatting. This work was supported by a USDA National Needs Fellowship in Molecular Plant Pathology no. 91-38420-6081 to AI-P and USDA NRI grant no. 2003-35301-13130.
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